Monday, November 7, 2011

Book Review | On Cukor by Trachtenberg

Yesterday my wife and I decided to take a little trip 'out of town' to visit the closest Cracker Barrel restaurant. We have to drive about 40 minutes North of New Orleans, but it is always worth it. While we were out there, we decided to stop by Books-A-Million to see what they had going on. We don't have one of those in the area either. While I was unimpressed with the set-up of the store, I was happy to stumble upon a book I hadn't seen before in the bargain area. It is a book titled 'On Cukor'. I was immediately intrigued, but the damn book was wrapped in plastic. So needing to see the inside of the book, I tore off the plastic. 

George Cukor on the set of Sylvia Scarlett with Katharine Hepburn

The book was marked at only $9.97, so I would have bought the book regardless, I was quite excited to see it's contents. The book has a complete filmography for the 'women's director', with excerpts about the filming of each film. Also throughout the book are rare pictures from Cukor's own personal collection. My favorite images I have seen so far are the one of Cukor on set with his stars. Another interesting part of the book are the 'Interludes' where the text was taken from a taped one-on-one interview that took place with Cukor in the early 1970's. He discusses his thoughts on the films, friends, and the stars of the films he directed. You get to see his take on people such as Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, Greta Garbo, and Lana Turner. 

George Cukor on the set of Dinner At Eight with Jean Harlow

Cukor has directed many of my favorite films [i.e. The Women & A Star Is Born], so I am sure this book will be a fun read. If I actually read this book, it will be a rare event. I usually skim through books, looking at the pretty pictures, and read parts that stand out, but think this time I will actually read the whole book. It is about my favorite films, one of my favorite directors, and talks about some of my favorite stars... why not read it?

George Cukor on the set of The Women with the entire cast!

As with most things I write about, I always do a little research on the subject. I was excited to see there is actually a DVD that goes along with this film, with the same name. It is priced under $10, so I may pick that up next week when I order my Jean Harlow: 100th Anniversary Collection. If anyone has a local Books-A-Million... you should look out for this greatly priced book.


  1. Hey Craig, be sure to read this one, cover to cover. A friend of mine gave it to me (she worked on it) and said, "Here, you might enjoy this..." I loved it! Cukor plays a featured role in my novel set at the Garden of Allah so I was keen to know as much as I could. I thought I knew a fair but, but aside from all the pretty pictures, I learned all sorts of interesting things. Thumbs up from me!

  2. I really like your "Classic Book Review" banner. :)

  3. Just picked this one up on a BAM excursion, too. I'm saving it as a Christmas present to myself, but I'm also happy to find that the DVD companion piece can be had for so little over at Amazon.